Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018 Ornament Exchange Link Pary!!

Welcome to the 2018 Ornament Exchange Link Party, our third year of the blogger ornament exchange! This link party is only for handmade ornament tutorials and will run from November 15th through December 15th.

2018 Ornament Exchange Link Party

This year, we have 50 talented bloggers sharing their Christmas ornament tutorials and helping to host the handmade ornament exchange link party! Let's meet the hosts of this year's 2018 Ornament Exchange Link Party!
My PinterventuresNorthern FeelingA Purdy Little House
Create and Babble 2 Bees in a PodAcross the Boulevard
Simply Beautiful by AngelaThe Inspiration VaultFaeries and Fauna
Home on the CornerThis Autoimmune LifeOur Unschooling Journey
Rosewood and GraceShoppe No.5Domestic Deadline
Made In A DayIntelligent DomesticationsCookies, Coffee and Crafts
Tales From HomeMunoforeSuper Mom - No Cape!
Raggedy BitsChristmas Tree LaneC'mon Get Crafty
Making ManzanitaMom Home GuideFrom Evija with Love
Red Cottage ChroniclesCoastal BohemianOur Crafty Mom
Girl, Just DIY!Halfpint DesignsPrim and Propah
Purple Hues and MeFarm Girl Reformed Eye Love Knots
Try It - Like It - Create ItTeadoddlesTwo Purple Couches
Inside the Fox DenKeys to InspirationOur Home Made Easy
Charleston CraftedThe Quiet GrooveChicken Scratch NY
Jordan's Easy EntertainingMom Envy Sparkle Living
The Good Hearted WomanFor the Love of Food

I shared my ornament with you yesterday here:  2018 Ornament Exchange. Go and check that post out for its tutorial. So easy and so pretty on the tree!

DIY Mason Jar Bottle Tree Ornament

If you have a handmade ornament tutorial, we would love for you to share it on the link party below ⇓⇓ Add as many ornament tutorials as you like until December 15th.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

DIY Mason Jar Bottle Tree Ornament

I am participating in the 2018 Ornament Exchange sponsored by My Pinterventures.  I have participated in the past, 2015 here, 2016 here and 2017 here!  It's always so fun to send your ornament to your partner and hope they like it as much as you!

DIY Mason Jar Bottle Tree Ornament

I'd like to share with you how I made this adorable "Mason jar" ornament for my partner.  


Mason jar ornaments from Dollar Tree (they come two to a package)
White or green Bottle Trees (I got my from Michaels)
glue gun
glue stick
silver pipe cleaner
white paint Sharpie


1. Remove the packaging and wash the ornament with hot soapy water. It will get any film off and give you a clean base to work from.

2.  Remove the gray "lid" of the jar.  Hot glue your bottle tree onto the lid.

3. Add hot glue around the base of the bottle tree, then wind the silver pipe cleaner around the base. This will cover any unsightly spots on the lid.  

4.  Shake the white paint Sharpie.  Make snowflakes on the "jar" part of the ornament. Scatter them all over, and make them small enough to see the "tree" inside.  

5.  Draw "snow" around the base of the ornament. Let dry thoroughly.

5.  Screw the lid to the jar.  

6.  Make a cute tag to add to the ornament.  Finished!

As you can see, this is a super simple ornament. It looks adorable hanging from the tree, especially the white trees! I played around with green bottle trees and white ones to see which ones I liked the most and I genuinely liked the white ones!  If you had a white tree, though, I bet the green ones would look sharp!

More ornament tutorials coming up!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cash for Christmas Giveaway!

I am always so excited to be a part of this awesome giveaway hosted by our dear friend Tammy from My Life AbundantGo and read her blog. Seriously. You will thank me later!  Then scroll down and read all about this Cash for Christmas giveaway!

It's time for a Christmas giveaway! Are you getting geared up for the shopping season? Do you need extra cash for Christmas?? Don't we all!

We are so excited to be giving away $360 in cash prizes for you to use starting this Thanksgiving weekend.

Here are the prizes:

1 - $150 Amazon Gift Card
1 - $100 Target Gift Card
1 - $50 Walmart Gift Card
1 - $50 Kohls Gift Card
And TWO $10 Starbucks gift card as an extra bonus winner!!

There will be 5 winners in this giveaway. Each winner will receive a gift card code to use on the online store or in the actual store.

Now its time to meet our wonderful co-hosts who have made this giveaway possible.

Starting at the top row we have:

Teresa - Sweet Farmhouse Dreams | Kristin - White Arrows Home | Audrey - That Recipe & Munofore | Susan - Culinary Envy | Carrie - Curly Crafty Mom | Tammy - Creative K Kids | Linda - A Labour of Life | Kenyatta - My Design Rules | Gladys - Moms To Grandma | Carol - The Red Painted Cottage | Emily - Domestic Deadline | Kara - Phoenix Mom Blog | Sinea - Ducks 'n a Row | Whitney - Beauty, Baby, and a Budget | Meredith - The Mom of the Year | Gina - Money Savvy Living | Trish - By Trish Sutton | Habiba - Craftify My Love | Marcy - Backyard Patch Herbal Blog | Marilyn - Marilyns Treats | Terri - Christmas Tree Lane | Jamie - As For Me and My Homestead | Debi - Life Currents |Marie - The Inspiration Vault | Donna - Blog By Donna | Tammy - My Life Abundant | Melissa - Our Crafty Mom

Please stop by and say hi to these wonderful ladies and their blogs.

The giveaway will end midnight on Wednesday, November 22nd, the night before Thanksgiving. You will have 48 hours to respond to the email claiming the prize. If you respond right away, we will get you the gift card code promptly so that you can shop with it on Black Friday! If we don't hear in 48 hours, we will have to choose another winner.

Open to anyone who can receive gift cards from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohls, and Starbucks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

DIY Christmas Stockings

I love the whole tradition of hanging stockings, and it is even better when you can DIY the Christmas Stockings yourself!  The tradition of hanging stockings started a man named Nicholas who was born in 280 A.D.  He dedicated his life to Jesus and was well known for his kind heart and generous spirit.

A wealthy merchant had a change of fortune and he was worried about his daughter's dowries. It would be embarrassing not to have the funds to help marry his daughters.  It is said that Nicholas heard of the merchant's plight, and rode up to his home in the middle of the night and tossed three bags of gold coins into the chimney.  They landed in the stockings of the daughters who had hung them to dry by the fireplace. The next morning the family was thrilled to find the coins. The story spread around the village and other children hung their stockings in hopes of finding a gift in their stocking.

We have hung stockings in our family for 41 years. Our daughter says it is her favorite tradition of Christmas.  Start your own tradition by trying one of these amazing DIY Stockings for your family.

15 Festive Christmas Stocking DIYs

Woven Stocking by a Beautiful Mess

Sweater Stockings by Confessions of a Serial DIYer

Felt Stockings by Homemade Ginger

Fur and Flannel Stockings by Girl Inspired

Elf Toe Christmas Stockings by Artsy Fartsy Mama

Burlap Stockings by Taryn Whiteaker

Retro Stockings by Simply Notable

Classic Cuffed Stocking by Positively Splendid

Mini Stockings by Flamingo Toes

Burlap Christmas Stocking by Craft Passion

No Knit Knitted Stocking by Red Ted Art

Distressed Gingerbread Man Stocking by Dream a Little Bigger

Which one is your favorite?  What is your favorite tradition at your home?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Deck the Porch!

In our neighborhood, we are all about our porches! Every house has some type of a porch, even if it is small. I like to get started NOW for thinking about how I want my porch to look. I try to blend a mixture of old and something new to keep the porch looking fresh.  Here's our porch in the past:



Our house is a work in progress, but we stick with a common theme. I am already planning my front porch decor now!  What about you?  Is decorating your front porch a ritual you look forward to?  Either way, here are some fabulous front porches that you can adapt to be your very own! 

Outdoor Christmas decorating for private homes seems to have started in the 60s. Strings of lights, accenting the home's lines were popular everywhere. As for front porch decor, I am betting that one of our dear northern neighbors recognize the need for winter cozy on the front porch and thus started a trend forever!

Easy DIY Ice Lanterns by Beauty Through Imperfection

Winter Porch Pots by House of Hawthornes

Christmas Swag by Fynes Designs

Giant Gift Boxes by Club Chica Circle

DIY Joy sign by Landeelu

Snowman Porch Decorations by Craft Create Cook

Hanging Paper Star Lanterns by Polka Dot Chair

DIY Gift Boxes by the Navage Patch

Christmas Ball Wreath by Nemcsok Farms

Can you imagine how festive your porch would be if you used these ideas?  I am excited about all of them!  Which would you love to see decorating your own porch?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Joy to the World!

On of my favorite Christmas carols is Joy to the World. The music is, um, joyful, and the words hopeful and inspiring.  Here's one of my favorite versions:

I just love Pentatonix. I have seen them in concert, and they are every bit as wonderful as you might imagine!

Joy to the World was written in 1719 by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 98 of the Bible. He was an ordained minister and was awarded the Doctor of Divinity by the University of Edinburgh in 1728. The music is by George Frederick Handel. According to, it is the most published Christmas hymn in North America.  The carol has been recorded by Andy Williams, the Supremes, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, Pat Boone, Perry Como, Mariah Carey and Pentatonix and many others, according to Wikipedia.

Please accept this beautiful printable as a gift from me for this holiday season. Let me see what you do with this work!  Will you frame it?  Make an ornament?  Gift it to a friend?  Let me know!

You may use this printable as long as you do not sell it, make items to sell from it or profit by it in any way, unless written permission is obtained by Terri Steffes, curator of Christmas Tree Lane.  Thank you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Christmas Crafts in Christmas Red

I love the traditional colors of Christmas red and Christmas green. They are my favorite, my go-to colors for Christmas. I typically pull them together by using a red/green plaid, which is my favorite pattern to use at Christmas. What about you, are you a trendsetter or a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas colors?

Red is supposed to represent the blood of Christ, usually through the use of holly berries.  Other Christmas red you might see is Apple Red as apples were an early decorating item for Christmas trees.  St. Nicholas, a Bishop who lived in the 4th century in Turkey who wore a red coat when he gave out gifts to children.  Through many centuries St. Nicholas became Santa Claus, who also wears a red coat!

Whatever your Christmas pallet, enjoy these wonderful red Christmas crafts. The bright, vivid color makes you feel Merry and Bright!

Popsicle Stick Santas by One Little Project

Light Bulb Christmas Ornaments by Mod Podge Rocks

Crepe Paper Pomegranates by Lia Griffith

Santa Belly Ornaments by Crafts by Amanda

Button Santa Ornaments by Country Chic Cottage

Wooden Christmas Sign by the Idea Room

Decorative Pillows by the Real Thing with the Coake Family

Painted Snowflake Mason Jar by Mason Jar Crafts Love

Felt Poinsettia Wreath by Skip to My Lou

In the comments below, tell me your Christmas colors. I'd love to know how you chose them to be your colors! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

10 DIY Ideas for Christmas Stovetop Potpourri

Ten ideas for Christmas Stovetop Potpourri will make your home smell delightful over the holidays. Keep a kettle on the back burner and you will be instantly ready to make your home smell delicious!

apples, allspice, oranges, cinnamon sticks and water

What I have learned about potpourri for Christmas is that any combinations of the ingredient list make for delightful scents.  Try your hand at making your own!  The ones I am sharing below are tried and true in my house and everyone raves about them!

cinnamon sticks, allspice, apples, oranges

Some tips for making your potpourri smell the best:  break up the cinnamon sticks so the oils are released, crush the pine, rosemary and balsam twigs in your hands.  Cut fruits in thick slices.  Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from citrus.

This post is sponsored in conjunction with AppleWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I also love to use my Swiss Diamond for making potpourri.  The 2.2 Qt Saucepan with lid nonstick surface is the best I have ever used. If I would ever forget to add water throughout the evening, this pot is easy to clean and recommission!  Here are their links if you would like to check them out!

Swiss Diamond pot with simmering stovetop potpourri

Swiss Diamond is a high-end cookware and kitchenware brand established in 2001, with a manufacturing facility in Sierre, Switzerland. The brand name originates from the company’s Swiss origin and its’ Classic cookware line which uses a revolutionary nonstick coating made with diamond crystals for durability, superior heat conduction, and a long-lasting nonstick surface. 

Swiss Diamond Cookpot with stove top potpourri


Yield: 10 different recipes

10 Recipes for Christmas Stovetop Potpourri

prep time: 5 minscook time: 4 hourtotal time: 4 hours and 5 mins
Here are ten different Christmas Stove top Potpourri recipes for you to try at your home. All these are tried and true in my own home.

The ingredient list below is for ALL the recipes. Print, circle or highlight the ingredients you need for the recipe you will make.


Cinnamon Sticks
Almond extract
apple cider
fresh ground coffee
orange peel
mint leaves
mint extract
dried cilantro
black tea bags
Chai Tea seasoning
whole cloves
rosemary springs
star anise
cardamom pods
candied ginger
balsam twigs
pine twigs
peppermint sticks


Amounts are up to you and what scents you like the most.  Some guidance is given for some ingredients.

**I always use 4 cups of water for simmering

1. Vanilla Spice
cinnamon sticks

2. Cinnamon Rolls
cinnamon sticks
almond extract
1 c apple cider
3 c water

3. Chai Tea Blessing
black tea bags
cinnamon sticks
2 T Chai Tea seasoning

4. Spanish Holiday
mint leaves, fresh
mint extract
dried cilantro
1 jalapeno

5.  Christmas Latte
fresh ground coffee beans
cinnamon sticks
orange peel

6.  Easy like Christmas Morning
1/2 bag cranberries
orange slices, cut thick
whole cloves
rosemary twigs
cinnamon sticks

7. Hometown Holiday
1/2 bag cranberries
cinnamon sticks
star anise
whole cloves
cardamom pods
candied ginger
vanilla bean
rosemary twigs
tangerine slices

8.  Christmas Apple
2 apples, sliced
cinnamon sticks
water (or replace 1/2 of the water with 2 c of apple cider)

9.  Christmas in the Grove
orange slices
balsam twigs
rosemary twigs

10.  Christmas in the Woods
cinnamon sticks
pine twigs
peppermint sticks


The nutrition information below is due to these mixtures NOT being consumed. The recipes above are for scenting your home, not for consumption.
fat (grams)
sat. fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
net carbs
protein (grams)
sugar (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday Recipes:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Merry Christmas, the Burro

My family and I spent a week in Palm Springs last week, and one of the adventures we went on was to the Cabot Museum in Desert Hot Springs. There, our guide Moises, told us a story about Merry Christmas the burro.  I am always "all ears open" when I am listening to tales about Christmas!

It seems that Cabot had a burro he named Merry Christmas (reasons unknown) that he dearly loved.  When the burro smelled the breakfast pancakes, he would trot to the pueblo and right into the house.  He would walk right up to Cabot and eat the pancakes with him!  The burro was very smart and learned a few commands.  Once Cabot and Merry Christmas got caught in a dust storm. It looked bad for Cabot and Merry Christmas, but Cabot told Merry Christmas to "go home."  And he did!

The gift shop had a tiny stuffed burro that was named Merry Christmas, so I purchased one as a souvenir of our trip. I plan to write a short story about Merry Christmas the Burro, so be on the lookout for a new Christmas story.

Until next week, enjoy THIS story of another Christmas Burro!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Christmas Cleaning

I used to be in love with the Christmas cleaning schedule I discovered back in the 80s.  You know the one, where you started in August and deep cleaned your way to Christmas? No more. One, I don't have the time or energy to spend with that kind of cleaning during this time of the year, and two, my cleaning schedule just consists of doing what is needed just in time. When I see a need, it gets done. This is what works for me.

For your Pinning Pleasure!

That all being said, I do like to take some time to clean up for the Big Day.  I love this 12 Days of Christmas Cleaning because it gives me about a 30 minute task each day before Christmas.  I love that there is an element of deep cleaning, but nothing that takes a huge amount of time.  To make it all the easier, I have created a downloaded chart that can be hung on your laundry room door and with places to put checkmarks (I love checking things off a list!) Continue reading to hear details about each day.

Download for your own personal use only!

Overview:  I break down the cleaning into three parts:  General cleaning, a big project and a touch up project.  General cleaning is something you will want your regular supplies to do.  Think dusting, vacuuming and washing.  The big project is something you don't do often but do need to do occasionally. The touch up project is something that needs attention but doesn't take a lot of time.

Before you start your 12 Days plan, go through the house, room by room and use the three basket strategy to clean away clutter.  One basket is called Put Away, and this is just things that you want that belong in another space.  One basket is called Throw Away and thing that go in here are headed for the trash (or recycling.)  The third basket is called Donate and everything that goes here will be donated before you start. Once this part is done, you are ready to start your 12 Days of Christmas Cleaning plan!

Day 1.  Start with the master bedroom.  Your big project here is the curtains.  The curtains are dust trappers and will make your whole room feel cleaner right away.

Day 2.  Kids rooms are always hard because they get messed up right away.  The big project here is organizing toys. I suggest that you clear out all but three sets of toys. Keep the toys your child plays with daily.  That will make future cleaning easy, and it is just for 12 days!

Day 3.  The laundry room is so easy to skip. Don't! Just because it is behind closed doors doesn't mean that you shouldn't clean it.  The big project is to wipe down your appliances.  Clean the filters if you can.

Day 4 is the hallway.  The big project is to knock down any cobwebs you might have around the ceiling line and around objects hanging on the wall.

Day 5 are bathrooms.  I have 4 bathrooms to clean, so I always start with the powder room, then move to the bathrooms that are used the most.  The big project is cleaning the toilets.

Day 6 is the Kitchen.  You will doing some cooking and baking during this week most likely, so all we are going to do is wash down surfaces and clean countertops and floors.  The big project is cleaning appliances (the outside!)

Day 7 are back to the bedrooms.  The big project is to organize the closets, so that they are neat, but not the kind of organization where you empty them out and then restock them. Nope, you are going to clean up the fallen clothing, shoes, jewelry and arrange things neatly. Vacuum the floor and put in an air freshener.

Day 8 are the hallways again.  What's nice about this day is that it will probably will only take 15 minutes, so if you want to tackle the dining room, this is the time.  Dust, vacuum, cobweb removal!

Day 9  Bathrooms again!  This time the showers and bathtubs get the big clean!

Day 10.  We are back to the kitchen.  Clean your ovens!  That way cooking on Christmas will feel so nice, when you open the door to a clean oven!

Day 11.  Whole House cleaning.  It's the day before Christmas, and you will want the whole house to be fresh.  Vacuum and dust everything, mop floors, check the bathrooms and spot clean.  Tidy up the kitchen and check the dining room.  Spend no more than 90 minutes on this task. Engage the help of spouses and kids!

Day 12.  Merry Christmas!  All today is for is to have fun and make memories.  Your biggest clean up task is to recycle bows, paper and boxes!!

I hope this will be a helpful guide for cleaning at Christmas.  Keep it low stress, but feel like you are accomplishing something, too! I'll be following my plan myself, and posting it on Instagram~follow me at

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Remembering Your Passed Loved Ones at Christmas

Christmas is a big holiday in our family.  We all set aside schedules, and busy lives, to come together to celebrate.  Because we kept this holiday so special, we really missed those family members who had passed away before Christmas.  I am sharing with you some of my favorite ways to honor the memories of your passed loved ones at Christmas.

This adorable dish from Mudd Hutt on Etsy:

I love this saying printed on a block of wood (no credit found on Pinterest)

Or how about this awesone ornament from Amy's Bubbling Boutique?

I love these Memory Bears from FlowerCreek at Etsy.  I can imagine having the bear made from a shirt or a sweater of your loved one, and then having a special time to set these bears out under the tree, telling stories and remembering good times!

At our house we do something very simple.  We make an ornament using a photo of the person.  It is super simple: use quality card stock and cut out a frame larger than the photo.  Glue the photo onto the cardstock.  Punch a hole at the touch and run a ribbon through it to create a hanger.  Tie a knot at the end so the ribbon stays put.  Glue decorative trim around the photo.  On the back side, write the name and years born/died.  Hang on your tree and remember that loved one each year.

Honoring both grandmothers and my brother.

What do you do to honor your passed loved ones at Christmas?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Oreo Christmas Cookie Ideas

I have been in love with Oreos since I was a little girl.  These cookies were a staple at my house for many years.

I have always wondered where the name came from, and there are many thoughts about that.  My favorite is that it is a derivative from Oreodaphne, a part of the laurel family.  The original Oreo package had a laurel wreath on it, so the connection is pretty clear!

I have loved using Oreos to make my holiday treats.  The truffles made from oreos and cream cheese are my family's favorites. I love using the mint oreos to make these each Christmas. Do you have a favorite flavor for your truffles?

Here are ten of my favorite Oreo Christmas cookies.  Can you pick out just one favorite?  I couldn't!

Ten Oreo Christmas Cookies

Santa Oreos by Positively Splendid

Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies by Inside Bru Crew

Snowflake Oreo Cookies by A Pumpkin and A Princess

Oreo Rudolph Cookies by A Sparkle of Genius

Snowmen Oreo Cookie Pops by Spend With Pennies

Chocolate Covered Christmas Oreos by the Soccer Mom Blog

Oreo Snowball Cookies by Flour on my Face

Oreo Wreath Cookies by Premeditated Leftovers

Oreo Christmas Coal by Passion for Savings